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During this time, online learning is widespread. Let us recognise the efforts for the incredible individuals who make this possible- teachers!
Conversation over a phone call:
Parent 1- (agitated) Don’t ask! The whole day my kids are creating nuisance throughout the house.
Parent 2- (frustrated) Same here dear! Moreover, such a huge loss of their time- no classes, no studies !
This was normal for the beginning phase of lockdown when parents were worried about their children missing school. Gradually, the magic wand of technology swept through and tantalised everyone everywhere. People who were ready to begin their slumber on their couch on the pretext of #stayhomestaysafe, suddenly got pulled into the online mesh of their usual routine jobs. Glued to their laptops and mobiles, people made small work corners in their abodes and adapted well to telecommuting and working from home.
And then another conversation over the phone:
Parent 1: They have classes early morning, so they are not sleeping late.
Parent 2: Oh yes ! It is taxing for my little one. Very difficult to make him concentrate for long.
Almost all the schools, coaching centres and even tuition teachers have started giving online classes to the learners so that this lockdown doesn’t hamper the educational growth of the young ones. Children in our homes have to get up on time and get ready to attend the class. They are also provided with different assignments which keeps them positively busy afterwards as well.
Behind all this is the teacher who is putting in a lot more effort than is visible to any of us. So I dedicate this one to all the teachers I know and also the ones I don’t as each and every one of them is doing a great job!
For any class, there’s a lot of preparation required. First, the teacher invests their time there and then before the class, they have to wind up the daily chores that we are all doing ourselves these days in confinement. Next, they have to seclude themselves in an appropriate space so that online classes remain smooth and unhindered, without any disturbances from their own family members.
During the class, there are many challenges that they face- all the teachers aren’t tech-savy but today they have to be deft… demand of time. Along with the teaching material, they are also learning to use all these tools and techniques we call ICT (information communication technology). Another challenge is communicating with young ones via video call. They tend to all talk at the same time and most of them are distracted midway. The teacher, who takes care of the young ones through the class, sails through all this with ease and a constant smile on their face.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that “Mother is the first teacher and teacher is the second mother”. Though the times are tough, our teachers are tougher. Here are some real life words from some teachers I know and respect:
“Any problem you have, don’t hesitate to call me.
My phone is open 24×7 for you all.”
“Any student of your class having any financial issue, tell them to inform me.”
“Now how are feeling ?Is the concept clear? Does it appear better?”
“Life isn’t only about books and notes, try to do something creative in this time. Learn something new- to sing or to cook or to wash probably!”
I feel that these words have the miraculous power of lifting up the spirits of the younger generation. Words of encouragement and kindness can heal any wound and motivate the young minds to do wonders. The presence of teachers in a student’s life is irreplaceable.
Kids tend to feel that online classes don’t have the spark of the real classroom environment. Yet, ironically, that’s the boon of the current times and demand of the hour. And since parents and teachers are both working towards a better future of the children, it is very important that they work in coordination and synchronisation.
Here are some suggestions I have for the parents which can improve the experience of online learning:
Most importantly, understand that it is not a race and certainly not time to put the pressure on your child to excel and come first. Let him/her learn at their own pace. It’s new for them, as it’s for most of us. Help them!
And for those who are worried about the soaring screen-time, cut down elsewhere please. Online classes don’t mean that the child’s eyes have to be glued to the screen. Make them sit at a proper distance from the source. Assignments can also be taken as print-outs or handwritten for the kids to fill up.
But of course, like one of my professors said, “Digital dieting will be required after all this terminates.”
A teacher by profession, I believe that learning never ends.
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